General Piercing Care
This applies to all piercings except oral.
First remove any dressing that has been applied after an hour or two.
Do not re-cover the piercing except in exceptional circumstances i.e. if working in a very dirty/dusty environment.
Only touch your piercing with clean hands and even then as little as possible during the healing stage. Unless you have just washed your hands with antibacterial soap they will carry dirt and germs which could infect your piercing, even if they look clean.
It is very important to clean your piercing daily according to the instructions given by your piercer. We recommend using a mild salt solution (or savlon anti-septic wound wash) and a clean cotton bud. Always wash your hands first! Gently clean away any discharge or deposits from around the piercing site. Do not attempt to move the jewellery for the first few weeks.
To start with you need to clean the piercing between two and four times daily. Over cleaning can lead to dryness and irritation whereas under cleaning will almost certainly lead to infection and possibly rejection.
When the piercing becomes loose enough on its own for the jewellery to move you should clean both sides of the piercing and then gently turn the ring through the piercing and clean the part of the jewellery that is normally inside. Make sure there are no deposits on the ring before you attempt to turn it.
If you have a barbell clean one side first and then slide it gently through the piercing so that you can properly clean the other end of the bar. Now push the other end back in and clean the first side again.
Be careful of what you wear on, over or near your piercing as anything that irritates or rubs it will prolong the healing time and increase the probability of rejection as well as making the healing period sore. Tight jeans or waist bands and belt buckles are the main culprits of navel piercing problems.
Stick to the cleaning routine until the piercing is completed healed i.e. no more discharge and return to it if the piercing should flare up for any reason in the future.
Whilst it is still swollen try to rest your tongue as much as possible by eating soft foods, not talking too much and not sticking it out at every opportunity. Drinking a glass of iced water every hour or so helps reduce swelling. Tomato juice, neat spirits, spicy food will sting so stay clear till healed.
During healing, rinse your mouth with an anti-septic mouthwash (Oraldene,Listerene) after every meal, snack, drink or cigarette. Rinsing twice a day with salt water can help maintain good oral hygiene without hurting your piercing.
Avoid all forms of oral sex until piercing is healed to minimise risk of infection and swelling.
Jewellery should be changed down when all swelling has gone.
Labret, Cheek, Madonna etc
The inside of the piercing should be rinsed thoroughly with a anti-septic mouthwash twice a day.
To clean the outside clean four times a day with a cotton bud and savlon wound wash.
Remove all crust before attempting to turn the jewellery.
Sometimes the skin on the inside tries to grow up around the back plate and this is easily overcome by pushing it back with the tongue or finger. Applying a small amount of bongela can also be helpful if this occurs.